I returned to The Local last night and took this as an opportunity to move away from the material I would consider my A grade routines. There are some routines that are your number one picks for a gig but when you're playing smaller rooms or venues you frequently attend it is a great opportunity to play around with different material. I attempt to go into every gig with a game plan. I don't like wasting stage time and although I want to do my job to the best of my ability I also like to have a goal that I can set myself. For this gig I wanted to start with a bit of riffing to see where it would take me and then try out an older routine from my 2010 show "Idiot Man Child". The routine was one of my favourites from that show because it begins with a slow build and works its way up to a fever pitch confrontation that ends in a very childish manner that was always fun to perform. Since I was hosting there were two halves to my set list.
Set List One
The Election and Star Wars
Set List Two
I Heard Gravity
I had a funny moment talking about the election. I decided just as an exercise to not think about it before I walked onstage and then just see what I could produce once I was under the lights. I wanted to talk from the heart and see where it lead, hopefully in the process producing some jokes along the way. Early on I set up a dynamic where I was relating the Labor in fighting to watching Star Wars but if Luke and Leia fought over who lead the Jedi while Han kept flip flopping on who he would support. I have to be honest I had no idea where I was going. I slipped Tony Abbott in as Darth Vader (a part he was born to play, baby!) yet still couldn't work out how to end this piece.
I didn't want to end on the typical "get-out-of-gaol-free" card saying, "Hey, I have no idea how to finish this" (if said with a laugh you can get away with having no ending and the audience enjoys the so called fallibility you reveal) but instead needed a joke to wrap it all up. Then at the last second I made a reference to voting for the Ewok in Melbourne and we not only have an Adam Bandt/Greens joke but it was also correct because I did indeed vote that way. When you stick the landing of an ad lib it puts you in a good mood for the rest of the night.
It was fun bringing the Homeowners routine back and I still enjoy all the little asides and the very deliberate build of this story. It is childish, pertinent and manages to squeeze in a quantum theory joke as well, a joke that is built upon the powers of the Flash!
In the second bracket I built off a story that Rusty Berther had told about a shit gig and decided to tell a story about a gig where I actually tamed an audience but to such a degree I didn't know how the night was going to end. It was a really fun show with a great line up put together by Janet McLeod. I felt like I managed to do my job and also achieve a personal goal in the process. I have two more gigs in Melbourne this week and I am tempted to use these gigs to play with these routines so I can get them into comedy shape.
10th of September, 2013